5 Bold Predictions
1. No Americans finish in the top 15
Andy Roddick hasn't won a slam since 2003, and won't win another. James Blake just turned 29 and after playing 27 Grand Slams in his career, he has never reached a slam semifinal. Sam Querrey may be the biggest hope of all the Americans to finish in the top 15, but with a rank of 39, I don't see him moving 24+ spots in 2009.
2. Marin Cilic finishes in the top 10
The 6'6 20 year old gave Novak Djokovic all he could handle in a grueling 5 setter at the U.S. Open. On a lighter note, he defeated Andy Roddick and Fernando Gonzalez in 2008. He dominated Igor Andreev and barely slipped past Mardy Fish on his way to winning his first ATP title, at Pilot Pen. With a huge serve and forehand, Cilic, who plays similar to Mario Ancic, is my pick to show up big in 2009, and not just with his height.
3. Ivan Ljubicic Retires
After a poor 2008, with an unsatisfactory 19-18 record, Ljubicic will hand up his racquets in '09. He hasn't retrieved his level from when he was ranked #3. He lost in the firt round of 9 out of the 20 tournaments he participated in. He had a few good runs at the French Open and the Qatar Open, but Ivan is almost 30 years old, has dropped to a ranking of 44, and will never return to the level he was at when he had a ranking of #3. We'll leave the decision to him, but in our opinion, Ivan should retire.
4. Lindsay Davenport OFFICIALLY retires
After "retiring" then returning to the tour after having her first child, Lindsay Davenport, pregnant again, will finally call it quits after a distinguished career. Her baby is said to be due in August 2009, which leaves her with very little time to return in late '09. She will still have to get back in shape after pregnancyand will realize that her heart isn't with tennis anymore, with 2 kids to care for, both of which will undoubtedly be Lindsay's #1 priorities, Lindsay won't be able to get back on the tennis scene.
5. Serena, Venus and Dinara will round out the Top 3 in the Year End Rankings
I'm still not sure what order I think this trio will be in, but I think Venus will triumph once again at Wimby, Serena will do the same at the U.S. Open, and Dinara will get past her inner-demons and win a Grand Slam in Melbourne. These three all had outstanding 2008s and will be ready to conquer a women's tour that is more scrambled than it ever has been before. To be more specific, I think that Maria and Jelena will round out the rest of the top 5.
Serving up the topics for you to discuss,